NTSB Hosts Loss of Control Forum at Big Wisconsin Air Show

"People are always quick to blame the pilot in every crash, but I think [LOC] is a training system error," aerobatic performer Patty Wagstaff said in her keynote address. She cited endemic lack of stick and rudder and upset recovery training as accident factors.

The National Transportation Safety Board hosted a forum on loss of control (LOC) in flight on July 24 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, a major air show taking place through Sunday, July 29. The forum was part of NTSB's General Aviation Safety Road Show and addressed one of the top problems facing the general aviation community; preventing loss of control in flight for general aviation is on NTSB's Most Wanted List of safety improvements.

"Almost half of the fatalities (in aviation) are due to loss of control," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in welcoming attendees to the forum. "That's why we're having the first-ever road show right here at Oshkosh."

Several safety experts discussed technologies, training, education, and other potential solutions to what EAA's news release called "the LOC epidemic."

"People are always quick to blame the pilot in every crash, but I think [LOC] is a training system error," aerobatic performer Patty Wagstaff said in her keynote address. She cited endemic lack of stick and rudder and upset recovery training as accident factors, according to the release. "The good news is, we don't need more regulations, we don't need a lot of acronyms or a degree in theoretical physics" to fix the problem -- just better initial and recurring training.

A panel discussion moderated by Tim LeBaron, NTSB's deputy director for regional operations, highlighted current efforts and evolving solutions for reducing LOC accidents. Sean Elliott, EAA's vice president of advocacy and safety, cited the benefits of a "culture of safe operations" the association fosters through its chapters and their activities as helping to prevent LOC incidents, and NTSB board member Earl Weener discussed work being done at the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, a public-private partnership, to combat LOC.

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